News Top 10 things to do in Sapporo, for rugby fans

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Top 10 things to do in Sapporo, for rugby fans

In 2019, the world rugby tournament is held in Japan for the very first time. According to Skyscanner's Australia match fixtures page, the Wallabies will play their very first game in Sapporo, in the Hokkaido prefecture. So for the rugby fans, here are the Top 10 things to do in Sapporo, Japan.

Sapporo is an easy 90 minutes from Tokyo by plane. Getting there from Australia will involve a layover, either in mainland Japan or Hong Kong. There are several major airports serving the prefecture, but the New Chitose airport is the largest international airport and your most likely point of arrival. You can also get there using the japanese train, for that we do recommend you to get a JR Pass.

SAPPORO, JAPAN – December 22, 2015: Street view of Buildings around city, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.

1. Odori Park

Spanning 1.5 km from East to West, Odori Park is an oasis in the midst of the skyscrapers in Sapporo. A greenery that serves as a relaxing place for her citizens, Odori Park houses many of Sapporo’s festivals such as the famed Snow Festival and White Illumination.

With over 96 species of flowers and plants, enjoy a corn on the cob while taking in the beautiful foliage in Spring at Odori Park. There is something for you to do for free every season at the park; Enjoy a refreshing cup of beer in the Beer Garden during Summer, watch the fiery red that paints the trees in Autumn, or snap some unforgettable shots at night amongst the Winter’s illuminations.

Nearest Train Station: Odori Subway Station

Entrance fee: Free

2. Sapporo TV Tower

An important landmark of Sapporo, the 147-meter TV Tower is beautifully lit up at night and you can have an unblocked view right at the Odori Park. Going up the tower gives you a bird’s eye view of the city and will set you back AUD $8.50.

Nearest Train Station: Odori Subway Station

Entrance fee: Free or AUD $8.50

3. Hokkaido University Campus

While it is pretty all-year round, the Hokkaido University Campus’s Ginkgo Avenue, shines in gold every Autumn when the Gingko trees turn yellow, lining up the 380m long road and making it a sight to behold. The Meiji-era buildings around the campus also add a tinge of nostalgia, making it a perfect location for some picturesque photos.

Do not miss out on having breakfast or lunch on the campus – with eight cafeterias across campus, taste some of Japan’s unique cuisine at a discounted price. Lunch sets, including rice bowls, hamburger steaks, and sushi, range from AUD $9 to AUD $15. Pretty desserts such as chocolate parfait are priced as low as AUD $6!

Nearest Train Station: Kita 12-Jo Station

Entrance fee: Free

4. Sapporo Ramen Yokocho

A small yet bustling street packed end-to-end with ramen stalls, the Sapporo Ramen Yokocho is the best place to try out the miso-based soup ramen in Japan. Ramen here ranges from AUD $7 to AUD $20, depending on shop and type of ramen ordered. Sandwiched between tall modern buildings, the Sapporo Ramen Yokocho is lit up with neon lights and preserved its nostalgic atmosphere throughout the street, making it a popular place for tourists to snap a photo or two.

It is also good to note that most of the shops have limited seating (8-15 seats) available, so be prepared to wait if you go during meal times.

Nearest Train Station: Susukino Station

Entrance fee: Free

5. Sapporo Beer Museum

Hokkaido is known for being the birthplace of Japanese beers. Formerly a brewery, the Sapporo Beer Museum is the only one of its kind Japan, and was opened in 1987 to preserve the history of beer making. Entrance to the museum is free and beer tastings are available from AUD $2.40. Guided tours will set you back $5.80, which includes beer tastings at the end of the tour.

Nearest Train Station: Higashi-kuyakusho-mae Station

Entrance fee: Free or AUD $5.80

6. Moerenuma Park

Sitting just on the outskirts of Sapporo is Moerenuma Park, a space reborn from a waste landfill that now has man-made structures across the park, creating a dynamic playground for its visitors. Entrance, as well as playing and interacting with the sculptures in the park, is free.

A symbol of the park, the Glass Pyramid creates a space for rest and relaxwhile being close to nature. In it is also a gallery that introduces and remembers sculptor Isamu Noguchi, who was the one behind the park’s design. Play Mountain, standing at 30-metres tall, provides a bird’s eye view of the park, while Mount Moere at 62-metres tall, showcases the entire city of Sapporo from its peak. Visitors can also enjoy skiing and sledding from Mount Moere during the winter months.

Nearest Train Station: Kanjodori-higashi Station

Entrance fee: Free

7. Shiroi Koibito Park

Shiroi Koibito is a famous chocolate cookie from Hokkaido and is a popular souvenir for many. Visitors to Sapporo can visit the factory grounds to observe the cookie being made, and even take part in the hands-on workshop and make their own unique Shiroi Koibito cookie. Entrance to the factory grounds will set you back AUD $7 but the shop and café are located before the paid area. Reservation for the hands-on workshop (AUD $11.50) is needed and can be accessed on their website

Nearest Train Station: Miyanosawa Station

Entrance fee: Free or AUD $7

8. Otaru Canal

Take a day trip to Otaru and immerse yourself in the historic office buildings and herring mansions that lined the Otaru Canal. Going from Sapporo to Otaru takes 30 mins by train and costs only AUD $7.50.

The Otaru Canal is also the site for the annual Otaru Snow Light Path Festival, happening in February, where snow statues and lights decorated the city, creating a picturesque view. A must-eat in this small harbor city is the Raw Seafood Rice Bowl, which is topped with sea urchin, prawns, crabmeat, and sashimi. Lunch sets in restaurants around Otaru Canal are slightly less costly, from AUD $15, but dinner will set you back at least AUD $30.

Nearest Train Station: Otaru Station

Entrance fee: Free

9. Otaru Sakaimachi Street

A stunning well-preserved merchant street in Otaru, the Sakaimachi Street is home to many souvenir shops, restaurants, and museums. Do not miss out on the Music Box Museum, which features some of the oldest music boxes, as well as the Bank of Japan Museum where visitors can feel the weight of an old vault with a hundred million yen.

One of the most popular activities to do in Otaru is to take part in the glass-making workshops where you can have a hands-on experience of making your own glass bowls and cups. These workshops will typically cost AUD $23 – AUD $35 and will be an unforgettable memory for your Hokkaido getaway.

Nearest Train Station: Minami-Otaru Station

Entrance fee: Free

10. Stay

If you are someone who is keener on shopping at departmental malls, Sapporo Station is your calling. At AUD $89 a night for a room for two, Toyoko Inn Hokkaido Sapporo-Eki Nishi-Guchi Hokudai Mae, part of the popular hotel chain Toyoko Inn in Japan and just 2-minute away from the station, will help you keep within your budget.

Looking for a hotel near Sapporo Station but struggles to keep within the budget you have set out? Sapporo Classe Hotel, 5-minute walk away from Odori Station and a 15-minute walk from Sapporo Station, is what you are looking for. At AUD $76 a night, you are saving at least AUD $13 a night as compared to hotels nearer to Sapporo Station.

However if you are more of a food person, wanting to have eateries and bars to hang out in at night, then Susukino Station is your place. Frame Hotel, a 3-star hotel is just 5-minute walk away from the station and costs only AUD $G57 for two guests per night. Alternatively, if you are keen to try out Japan’s famous capsule rooms, the Capsule Inn Sapporo costs only AUD $21 including breakfast per person.

It is good to note that hotels near Sapporo Station typically set you back more than hotels near Odori Station and Susukino Station, and the cheaper hotels near Susukino Station usually have fewer rooms as compared to the ones near Sapporo Station. It is good to book early to ensure that you get a room in the budget hotels, especially if you are going there during Golden Week or during the winter months.

Ready to spend an unforgettable vacation in Sapporo? Book Book flights, hotels and car rental via Skyscanner today, or download our free mobile app for easy browsing and booking on the go.